Ex­pect hob­bits in town

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Sir Peter Jack­son’s long-de­layed Hob­bit movie will be­gin shoot­ing in March, the movie’s pro­duc­tion com­pany 3Foot7 has an­nounced.

The com­pany said the first day of ‘‘prin­ci­pal pho­tog­ra­phy’’ would be Mon­day, March 21, with film­ing at Stone St Stu­dios in Mi­ra­mar and on lo­ca­tion around New Zealand in­clud­ing in Mata­mata.

The film has suf­fered a num­ber of set­backs, in­clud­ing union dis­putes and a di­rec­tor who quit, and the hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion of Jack­son for a per­fo­rated stom­ach ul­cer last month.

Jack­son was re­leased from Welling­ton Hos­pi­tal last Thurs­day. His spokes­woman said he was ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery.

‘‘De­spite some de­lays we are fully back on track and very ex­cited to get started,’’ Jack­son said.

The March date was cho­sen fol­low­ing ‘‘fol­low­ing prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions of the film­ing sched­ule re­quire­ments, ac­tor avail­abil­ity and the New Zealand sea­sons’’, the com­pany said.

The Hob­bit’s con­firmed cast in­cludes Martin Free­man as Bilbo Bag­gins and Sir Ian McKellen as Gan­dalf.

Other ac­tors will be Richard Ar­mitage, Ken Stott, Gra­ham McTav­ish, Wil­liam Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Rob Kazin­sky, Ai­dan Turner, Peter Ham­ble­ton, John Callen, Jed Bro­phy, Mark Had­low, Adam Brown, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, Mikael Pers­brant, Sylvester McCoy and Eli­jah Wood.

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